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SCC Getting Help with New Keokuk Building

Jason Parrott
SCC broke ground in November on the newest addition to the Keokuk campus.

Southeastern Community College certainly lived up to the saying, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again" when it comes to the new Industrial Technologies Training Center on the Keokuk campus.  The college's dedication paid off in the form of a roughly $1 million grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration.
Michael Ash, SCC President, said the college originally applied for $2 million from the federal agency. The request was tweaked several times along the way based on recommendations from the agency. Finally, six months later, the grant was awarded.

“With facilities like this, we can give students the chance to improve their lives and to help businesses train the skilled workers they need to be competitive," said Ash. 

"We want to give our region a highly skilled workforce that will encourage existing businesses to expand and new ones to set up shop.”

The grant will pay for about 25% of the roughly $4.2 million project. The college is borrowing the rest thanks to a voter-approved bond issue.

Ash said the price tag for the Industrial Technologies Training Center is subject to change depending on work availability during the bid process and any federal wage requirements attached to the EDA grant.

The college expects the project to go out for bid in a matter of weeks and for construction to get underway in early Spring.  It broke ground on the facility in November.

“While we waited for the application to work its way through the system, we did as much of the advance preparation as we could," said Ash.  "So that once we received confirmation, we could hit the ground running.”

Ash said the building will take about 10 months to complete.  He said it will allow SCC to expand its offerings to include short-term industrial technology training plus specialized certificates, degrees, and diplomas.

The college said the facility will feature "two spacious learning labs equipped with specialized training tools in robotics, hydraulics, pneumatics, electronics, CNC, PLC, pipe-fitting, HVAC, and welding. The center will also house multipurpose computer labs with design and equipment maintenance software."

Jason Parrott is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.